The Sugar Quill
Author: Jaime (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Plans of Paranoia  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns it all, baby! And one line is from Boy Meets World. Hee.

Author’s Note: I think this may be the weirdest non-plot I’ve come up with yet. If you’ll believe it, it came to me in a dream. ;) Thanks to my beta reader, Elanor Gamgee, as usual.

 

*********************

 

Please, Ron?” Ginny was starting to lose her patience with her brother. The Weasleys weren’t famous for their patience.

 

Ron continued to ignore her, instead choosing to announce to no one in particular, “Hinkypunks, I think, should work.” He jotted it down on the parchment in front of him. He was, as usual, making up his Divination work.

 

Ginny collapsed into the chair across from him, sighing with annoyance and tapping her foot extra loudly on the ground in an attempt to return his attention to her. Finally, he looked up, equally annoyed.

 

“All right then, if you insist on making me repeat myself again, I will: are you completely mad? Oh, and NO.”

 

Ginny tugged on the ends of her hair; a nervous habit. I can’t believe he won’t even consider it! She wondered why she didn’t just ask Hermione - after all, Hermione would understand, and at the very least, be a bit more sympathetic. But instead, Ginny seemed to be more interested in self-torture than she had ever thought.

 

“Look, Ginny? Why don’t you ask Hermione? Or if you’re desperate, Fred or George,” he added with a snicker. Ginny snorted in response.

 

“But Ron—”

 

“Ginny! I am trying to study!” Even Ron couldn’t keep a straight face at that. “Why don’t you just talk to him yourself? It’s not as though you’re still fumbling all over him…” Satisfied, he turned back to his assignment. “Or better yet, just ignore it. That crush seems to be getting smaller every day.”

 

Ginny narrowed her eyes at him. “Ron…” she said warningly. Her ‘crush’ on Harry was gone, but no one else seemed to realize that. Except perhaps Hermione. She had long since gotten over her hero-worship, but somewhere down the line, it had turned into so much more.

 

“Maybe I don’t really want to go up to my best friend and tell him it’d be a joy if he went and snogged my sister!”

 

“Would you rather I go and snog Draco Malfoy?” Ginny couldn’t suppress a giggle at the look this received.

 

Suddenly, Ginny got an idea. Truth be told, it was a completely and totally absurd idea, but, possibly due to the long and stress-inducing time she had just spent with Ron, Ginny did not care. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more it made sense to her. Hmm. Perhaps I should think about going to the hospital wing…

 

Ron scribbled something on his parchment and proclaimed a job done. He threw it, and his books, in his bag. Then he pulled his chess set out. “Want to play a game?” he asked Ginny, moving over to a table in front of the fire.

 

“No, thanks. Ron, I think you should go to Harry, chat him up,” Ginny said very fast, and very casually. Ron, in turn, whirled around to stare at her. Of course, since he had been in the midst of sitting when he did this, he ended up tripping over his long legs and crashing to the floor. Somehow, Ginny maintained a composed front through this, and merely blinked at him.

 

After Ron found his voice again, he stuttered, “So. I see that I was wrong before, about your being completely mad. Apparently there is more room for that. Are you feeling okay?” Amazingly, he sounded generally concerned.

 

“Yes, yes, I’m great. It’s my new plan.” Ron began to look slightly ill, so she hurried on, “Don’t worry, it’ll work out.”

 

Some time later, because both Ginny and the author wish to keep this plan secret…

“..So, the key is to be obvious and vague, yet at the same time direct and subtle…” she trailed off, looking at Ron’s constant head shaking. “What?” Ginny winced at how much that had sounded like a whine.

 

“Do you have any idea what you’re asking me to do??” A blush began to creep across his face, matching his ears, which had been red throughout the entire conversation.

 

Ginny, for her part, smiled winningly. “A favour?”

 

“Well, sorry to disappoint you, but there is no way I am doing… that,” he ended with a groan, burying his head in his hands.

 

“What if I told you to do the same with Hermione?” she asked slyly. Ron groaned again.

 

* * * * * * * *

 

Ron trudged up the stairs to the boy’s dormitories. Very slowly. Mentally kicking himself with each step. Why? Why, why, why did I agree to do this? Much too quickly, he reached the fifth years’ door. Drawing up whatever courage that had landed him in Gryffindor, he opened the door and walked in. A quick glance told him Harry was on his bed, flipping through his beat-up copy of Quidditch Through The Ages. Harry looked up, greeted Ron, and turned back to the book.

 

All right, Ron, all you need to do is tell him about Ginny. As long as it gets the same result, she need never know. Simple. Decided, Ron opened his mouth, fully prepared not to follow his sister’s stupid plan, but what he said, to his horror, was, “You have very nice eyes, did you know that?”

 

“Thanks,” Harry answered automatically. After a pause, he looked up. “Wait… what?”

 

Ron was dimly aware that he must be bright red by this time. His brain was screaming at his vocal chords. Why the hell did you say that?! What he said this time was slightly better. “Er – nothing.”

 

Harry looked skeptical, but nodded. “Take a look at this…” he said, pointing to a page. After a moment’s pause, he looked up again. Ron hadn’t moved an inch. “I imagine it’s difficult to see the print from over there.” He sounded half amused, and after a very nervous bark of laughter, Ron walked woodenly over to the bed and forced himself to sit slightly closer to Harry than he normally would.

 

Now what? he asked himself, Harry’s voice a dull noise in the back of his mind. He raised a hand, stopped, raised it again, and stopped yet again.

 

“That’s it! I can’t do it!”

 

Harry stopped reading aloud and stared at Ron, a concerned look on his face.

 

“Ron, are you okay?”

 

Ron jumped up and began to pace the room. Muttering to himself, arguing on about what he should do; he didn’t notice that Harry was looking more and more worried, and had gotten up to join Ron, touching his shoulder. Ron yelped, jumping as though he had been burned.

 

“What is wrong with you?”

 

“Do you know – do you know what that utterly barking sister of mine wanted me to do??”

 

* * * * * * *

 

Ginny wrung her hands nervously, debating whether she should go and hide in her dorm or stay where she was, eyes glued to the boy’s staircase.

 

“Hullo, Ginny!”

 

Startled, Ginny jerked her head around to see Neville coming across the common room to join her. She greeted him with a distracted smile as he took a seat next to her, stretching and cracking his back as he did so. He began to tell Ginny about a new plant, or Chocolate Frogs - she wasn’t quite sure, to be honest. She couldn’t seem to stop casting glances over to the staircase. Just then, Ron appeared, practically running down the steps.

 

Interrupting Neville in the middle of a description of something green and scaly, Ginny said rather eagerly, “Ron! What ha—where are you—”

 

Shooting his sister a fierce glare, Ron strode past them, pushed open the portrait, and left without a word.

 

Ginny began to wonder if perhaps she had made a mistake in dragging her brother into this. The more she thought about it, the further she dove into the realms of paranoia. Soon, she had herself convinced that Harry actually liked Ron in that way, thus proving that she was nothing but a stupid little girl who hadn’t lost her pathetic crush after all.

 

“Are… are you all right?” Neville asked in a kind but nervous voice.

 

“Hmm? Oh, yes, I’m fine.” Neville looked relieved at her answer, and Ginny smiled. She started pulling at a thread on the arm of the couch in an attempt to divert her concentration from her inner monologue.

 

“Hi Neville. Hi Ginny.”

 

Ginny glanced up, and without delay, turned a bright red. Harry… Her newfound paranoia reached new heights. In the distance, she was conscious of Harry and Neville carrying on an amusing conversation, and the also new self-pitying part of her wondered why he hadn’t yet left to find Ron. That part of her also cursed her blushing. So much for being past the bumbling, fumbling stage…

 

Coming out of her thoughts, she realized that Neville was disappearing up the staircase, and Harry Was Still There. He smiled at her, and sat in the chair across from her, exactly as she had earlier with Ron. Harry reached under a table and pulled out a chess set.

 

“Want to play?”

 

Now more than ever, Ginny wondered what had happened upstairs. This was the first time in four years Harry had ever voluntarily spent time with her alone, none of her brothers or Hermione in sight. Ginny may have been slightly suspicious, but she wasn’t mad. She nodded happily, sitting up and taking the chess pieces Harry held out to her.

 

As they began to play, one of Harry’s pawns laughing at him over his first choice of move, it occurred to Ginny that her plan hadn’t quite worked out the way she had wanted it to. But, she thought, as Harry rolled his eyes, smiling at her once more, it’s a very good start.

 

//
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